Index

Employees’ salary to be released today
Srinagar: The Government today ordered that the salary of government employees for June 2017 shall be drawn and disbursed to them on June 22 in view of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.
“The treasury officers are directed to receive the salary bill for June 2017 up to 6 pm on June 21, 2017. The Bills received up to the time and date mentioned will be disbursed on June 22,” an order issued by the General Administration Department said.
The order further states that on June 22 only those bills, received till previous evening, will be entertained for disbursement.
Meanwhile keeping the needs of employees of the State Government in mind, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti directed release of salary for the month of June before Eid ul Fitr which falls next week.
The directions were issued to the Finance Department by the Chief Minister today.
The Chief Minister has also directed that monthly dues be also disbursed among the SSA teachers, contractual and adhoc employees as well before the Eid so that they also can celebrate the festive occasion without any difficulty.

Numbers in Kovind’s favour, may get more votes than Pranab
NEW DELHI: The electoral college numbers seem to be stacked in favour of NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and he may well end up getting more votes than incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee and his predecessor Pratibha Patil.
With Shiv Sena tonight joining other NDA allies in backing Kovind and Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD), the YSR Congress and Telangana’s ruling TRS too extending support, the 71-year-old dalit leader is expected to have a smooth sailing in the event of an election.
The BJP may also seek the support of rival factions of AIADMK or DMK–parties dominating Tamil Nadu.
The opposition parties are meeting on June 22 to decide on fielding a consensus candidate for the presidential election. (Agencies)

Search Op launched in south Kashmir village
Srinagar: A search operation was launched by security forces in a village on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway this afternoon following information about presence of militants in the area, official sources said.
They said following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Khrewan village in Anantnag, troops of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF launched a joint operation this afternoon.
However, so far no contact was established with militants, they said, adding security forces have started search operation.
Further details are awaited, they said.

Widening work on Jmu-Sgr NH completed
Srinagar: The widening and upgrading work on 170 kilometres of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has been completed at a cost of Rs 5011 crore.
However, the work is in full swing on the balance portion of the arterial road including some tunnels and by passes.
Jammu-Udhampur stretch of the Highway has been completed while work is on at the Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal stretches with varying degrees of completion, an official spokesman said here.
Earlier today, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti chaired a review meeting to monitor the progress of widening of the highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country.
The spokesman said the meeting was informed that 67 per cent work on the 68-km Srinagar-Qazigund stretch has been completed as work is on to get the proposed Banihal tunnel through at the earliest.
“The tunnel is expected to be readied by the year end while as the entire stretch would be readied by next year,” the spokesman said adding Pampore and Bijbehara by pass projects are almost completed and likely to be thrown open by next month.
Terming the Srinagar-Jammu widening project as critically important for the state, the Chief Minister said on completion the project is going to change the entire profile of the state and its people.
She asked the project implementing agencies to factor in this objective and complete their projects without delaying any further.
Mehbooba specifically directed the project executing agencies to develop the vacant spaces and adjoining patches along the highway with more greenery, plants and flowers to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the project.
She also directed maintenance of the old national highway by the NHAI till the new entire stretch is completed and operationalised, the spokesman said.
The meeting was informed that a quality wayside facility on the newly constructed highway would be developed after every 40 kilometres and also plantations would be made to make it one of the greenest corridors in the country, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Chairman National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Yudhvir Singh Malik called on state Governor N N Vohra here yesterday and briefed him about the to date status of both the on-going as well as the proposed road and highway projects in the state.
“Among the ongoing works the Governor had detailed discussions with Malik about the completion of the remainder portions of the Udhampur-Banihal and the Banihal-Srinagar sectors of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway,” the spokesman said.
The Governor stressed the need for ensuring very early completion of all the road projects, particularly the Udhampur-Srinagar segment of the highway.
He also urged Malik to devote particular attention to the maintenance of existing highways and ensure the provision of ‘Lay Overs and Way Side Amenities’ along all highways alongside removal of the rapidly increasing encroachments along the highways.
He also pointed to the need for plantation of suitable varieties of both flowering and shady trees along all the highways, the spokesman said.

Heli operators slash rates for Machail Yatra service
Jammu: The rates for helicopter services from Gulabgarh to Machail and back have been substantially reduced for the upcoming Machail Yatra scheduled to be held from August 1 to 31.
Pilgrims who are above 12 yrs of age shall have to pay Rs 1550 while the pilgrims aged between 2 to 12 years shall have to pay Rs 1400 whereas the child up to two years shall be flown free of cost by these Operators.
Pertinent to mention here that the fares during the present year are the lowest since the inception of Heli Services for this Yatra.
During the year 2016, the tariff per ticket per side was Rs 2000.
In 2015 the tariff was Rs 2400 per ticket and the year 2014, every ticket cost Rs 2700.
This reduction in tariff will surely be a source of satisfaction for the pilgrims by the heli travel on this long journey becoming for more affordable than the previous years, official spokesman here said.
In order to finalise heli tenders for 2017 Yatra Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Dr M K Bhandari had constituted a Committee to evaluate and finalise award of contract to helicopter operators for Shri Machail Mata Yatra 2017.
Six helicopter companies participated in the tender process.
M/s Pawan Hans Ltd and M/s UTair India Pvt. Ltd who have been awarded contract through a transparent bidding process, shall be operating their helicopters to ferry pilgrims from Gulabgarh to Machail and back.
The heli services have been offered by the Government to facilitate the pilgrims in the rough and difficult terrain of Kishtwar valley. It will be easy for the old age, children and even sick people to pay obeisance to the Holy deity. It will also help in relief and rescue operations in case of any emergency.
The Operators have been finalised through a transparent tender process duly evaluated and finalised by the Committee comprising of Commissioner Civil Aviation, J&K, S. Katoch, Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, G.N. Balwan, Additional Commissioner, Jammu, Anu Radha Rani, Deputy CEO, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Amit Vermani and District Treasury Officer, Kishtwar, Irfan Majid.